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By Fr Jim Cogley

An old saying that we all grew up with is that, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me’. That’s just not true. Harsh and belittling words can and do break our spirit. A word from a parent teacher or friend can be like a poisoned arrow that got

lodged into us as a child and as we carry it through life, it continues to release its poisonous venom. At the time it may have been a throw away remark spoken in a moment of annoyance like ‘You clumsy oaf’, ‘You stupid idiot,’ ‘You fat, whatever.’ Long forgotten by the person who expressed their opinion in that moment, they can be remembered for a lifetime by the recipient and form the basis of how he or she sees themselves. The word that was spoken becomes what that person believes about themselves and forms the basis of their self-esteem


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